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Hobby Horses win the Lottery

Banbury Hobby Horse Festival has been awarded 4,330 under the National Lottery's Millennium Festival scheme.

Up to 1,200 of the money is to be spent on paying the travelling expenses of visiting animals and their owners - mostly from the morris community.

So far sixteen animals are confirmed as attending the festival on 1-2 July, 2000, but the organisers hope the travel fund will help to boost numbers. There will be an opportunity to perform in Adderbury.

Some of the money will be used to fund sculptor Stephen Rowley - a member of Gloucestershire Morris Men - to work with local schoolchildren to create a giant beast. There's also some money to pay for workshop leaders, accommodation and local transport.

The event's aroused considerable interest among staff at the Millennium Festival offices.

Festival organiser Simon Pipe says: We try to explain what these hobby horses are like and I think people aren't really sure what we're talking about.

I'm very excited, but also slightly nervous about it all. I'm not entirely sure how it's going to work out on the day.

Animals are always unpredictable in strange situations, and that's especially true if there are mischievous people inside them. I sometimes wonder if Banbury knows what it's letting itself in for."

Invitations have gone out to dozens to hobby animals within reasonable distance of Banbury, but there are some that we simply don't know about. All are welcome - not just from the morris - but we need to know you're coming.

Contact Simon Pipe on (01295) 812368 or e-mail

Address: Horn Hill Cottage, Horn Hill Road, Adderbury, Banbury, Oxon OX17 3EU

LINKS: Beasts Around Banbury Cross
Banbury Cross
Desert Orchid For Hobby Horse Festival?

2000 Simon Pipe, Mark Rogers, The Outside Capering Crew

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